Balance graduatesheet: when as a college Kendall Helfenbein began his career at KPMG, it took two years to surpass what had been his part-time annual salary as a student, as an award-winning "super salesman" at Radio Shack.

Author:Heffes, Ellen M.

TITLE Chief Financial Officer

COMPANY Romacorp Inc., since 2012, an international franchiser of Tony Roma's Restaurants (in 33 countries, 75 percent which are outside the U.S.), which is legendary for ribs and famous for much more. The headquarters are in Plano, Texas, with an operations center in Orlando, Fla.


BORN Shattuck, Okla., March 2, 1959

SPOUSE Currently single.

FAMILY Children: Amanda 33, Ryan 29, Hayley 21; Grandchildren: Victoria 2, Jackson 1.

EDUCATION SUMMARY West Texas A&M, 1981, BBA in Accounting, minor, finance and economics; CPA, 1982; MBA, emphasis in Innovation and Strategy, University of Texas at Dallas, 2004; Masters in Accounting and Information Management, University of Texas at Dallas, 2006.

CAREER SUMMARY College internship at KPMG working for private companies; I then worked in the audit department for mostly large public companies, 1981-84; then as a manager and senior manager in audit for two large non-national CPA firms, 1984-91. I was brought in as chief financial officer when the CFO of my largest client company, Block Management LLC, passed away suddenly, and I stayed for 18 years, 1991-2009. This was a very large group of 15 privately owned companies with 7,500 employees.

Upon the sale of the business in 2009 I took time off to complete a lifetime goal of competing in triathlons, and returned to work when the first was completed; I've now completed 12 triathlons.

BOARD or DIRECTORS SERVICE. Texas Society of CPAs, 9 years now (served on several committees and currently on the invitation-only Professional Standards Committee); past director of Dallas CPA Society (Past chairman of the Accounting and Auditing CPE Committee).

FEI CHAPTER Dallas Chapter, member since 1997. Served on the Membership Committee, past chairman of the Professional Development Committee, currently Treasurer.

LEISURE I love swimming, biking and running and training for and competing in triathlons, which I plan to continue as long as I am able. It is very challenging and helps me stay in shape.

I also love working around the house and building things. For one, after having the tornado sirens go off and realizing the bathtub was not the best place to hide from a Texas storm, I turned my master closet into a safe room. It is built as a true bunker from the storms, fireproof and even bulletproof from potential home invaders. I've also done...

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